Teachers For Rural Schools: A Challenge For Africa


Mulkeen, A.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
(FAO) (2005)

This paper is based on country case studies done in conjunction with the World Bank in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Tanzania, during 2005. It highlights the difficulties of ensuring good quality teachers in isolated rural schools, and considers the implications for teacher deployment policy; teacher utilisation, and teacher management and supervision.

It finds that in rural areas:
* teacher deployment practices leave fewer teachers, more unfilled posts, and more unqualified teachers

* teacher utilisation practices result in larger class sizes at early grades. In other cases teachers without adequate preparation and materials are left trying to handle multigrade teaching. At the same time, qualified teachers may be found working with very small classes

* limited teacher management systems may result in higher absenteeism, and shorter working hours. In addition the systems to ensure and develop the quality of teaching (inspection and support services) are often weaker in rural areas. In effect, the weakest teachers receive the least support.The author concludes that there is a clear need for both a better categorisation of schools, and a more systematic monitoring of the relative situation of rural schools.